Not A Rhapsody in the night
(in response to T.S.)
I’m here, ear to the brick post, hair pushed out of eyes
and my shirt torn where it got caught on a barbed word
as I crossed through your domain to this
site, late, on some street whose name
I have not bothered to read, outside a house whose occupants,
as far as I am concerned, might as well be dead, I certainly am, that
has been made dead plain, or crystal clear – I might
even enjoy their decaying smell – you certainly did. It may echo the smell
that resides within this chest of mine
where my ribs wriggle like maggots around the withering, white flesh.
The port bottle, clenched like a precious key to a distant door,
as if there is hope; if I merely turn things the right way,
I will find sunlight where only night dwells - my eyes stare up
and the stars stare down – we eyeball blindly as I take another swig
and nothing is said except, inside my head where words rotate,
conjugate misdeeds, misunderstandings, misplaced agreements
and donated misdemeanors.
All hoarded and then given back to me
in the hour before the fall – as if everything resides
on the spinning, gaudy deck of the fairground horses.
The brick post I sit against cares little, less even
than the cheap port – at least it fires the stomach with its leaden purge
of all the things we’ve said and haven’t.
If the night could only be bent -
curved like an arch, or the rainbow bridge, so that morning light
would spread and these demons finally be laid to rest
at least for another day.
But night, like your mind, my absent one, is set,
and I am doomed to forever gyrate around
what has occurred – Yorrick, held in the greasy palm
of your easy and indifferent judgment.
The moon will not rise,
Venus has drifted too far
and Pluto, they tell me,
is not even a planet.
But Mars, oh Mars remains, laughing
and your words, like Saturn’s welded rings
go around and around in my head
as the temperature, this undying night,
to below that needed for a heart to bloom.
The bottle finally spits itself dry.
I smash it against the road - enjoy the miniature explosion,
wish I could repeat the gesture
on the inside.
Would I then be cleansed?
Or would it set off a series
of explosions – a beginning, an end?